Prego Phood #1: Apple Pie

The first big clue about my state of pregnancy was when I vomited my breakfast. It was a western omelet. Normally I would be all over this combination of cured meat, sautéed onions, peppers, and eggs, but it didn’t go down with a lot of pleasure and came right back up. Other foods I continue to avoid are chocolate, cheese, red meat, seafood, chicken wings, and pizza.

Some of the foods I can stand, in fact, enjoy to an extent I don’t ever remember enjoying them, include:

Orange juice. Tastes like the perfect combination of tart, sweet, and orange.

Dwen-jang-ggee-geh, a Korean spicy miso stew. Like a refugee cast away from her homeland, I crave this rustic, old school Korean dish. But I don’t like kimchi. In fact, overly spicy foods repulse me.

Smoked turkey sandwich. Thick slice smoked turkey meat with mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomatoes on a fresh French baguette. So simple and so good! Why did I ever think smoked turkey meat was boring?

Speaking of sandwiches, good bread is the bomb. Who doesn’t like bread? Well, good bread tastes even gooder and the cheap stuff tastes like crap. It’s intolerable. Get Iggy’s bread.

Speaking of Iggy’s bread, I get mine from Wholefoods, which is also where I get their fresh ground peanut butter, no salt or sugar added. I spread come of that on a slice of Iggy’s and I’m a kid all over again.

Prego. The irony of a prego craving Prego is cheesy to the point of ridiculous. But I crave the jarred, not very good sauce. Just Prego with spaghetti, the way I used to enjoy pasta when I was a child. No added garlic or dried basil or even pinch of humble black pepper. Jarred, boring, and delicious. That’s how this prego likes her Prego.

Spring salad with tomatoes. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss and enjoy.

Campbell’s Tomato soup. Not with rice, not with chunks of vegetables, not minestrone, or homestyle with complex flavors like garlic and basil. Not homemade either, but the Campbell’s, 50 cents a can, tomato soup. Nowadays, you don’t even need a can opener. The tops have peel away crack-open lids. Dump into a small sauce pan and add one and half cans of water (I like a little more water because I find Campbell’s makes their soups saltier than I like). Sip from a mug rather than spooning it from a bowl.

Fresh fruit. I had a banana with my Anna the day after my wedding and it was like I was five years old again. According to my mother, when our family first lived in Canada back when I was five years old, all I would eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the first month in the country was bananas and Kraft single slices. Together? No you would take a bite of the banana, eat that, then take a bite of cheese and eat that. I can’t stand cheese this week.

Berries, another fresh fruit item. Fresh strawberries and blackberries at the hotel buffet are the only items I really enjoy from their impressive spread during my wedding weekedn. Not even bacon outcompetes the berries. On a related note, the embryo is the size of a blueberry this week. I also like them in a smoothie. Take a cup of frozen berries, a banana, around ½ to 1 cup of orange juice, and ½ to 1 cup of low fat vanilla yogurt. Blend. Enjoy with a turkey sandwich

Apples are also another rediscovered fruit. Braeburns and fujis are crisp and sweet and full of flavor. That’s when I think I should try making a pie. This is my first entirely from scratch fruit pie.

And of course, I don’t have a pie plate, food processor, or a rolling pin. I borrowed the pie plate, used a blender and a lot of shaking fairly successfully, and got a French rolling pin from Crate and Barrel. The guy there said it was the only rolling pin I would ever need.

Result: golden. Crust was flaky and light. The filling could have been sweeter, especially because I screwed up the recipe a bit by adding only two tablespoons of sugar when it called for three quarter cup of sugar. Next time I would probably add maybe a third cup of sugar. But SC liked that it wasn’t too sweet. He’s so sweet.

Apple Pie (Crust adapted from and filling adapted from SAVEUR)
Serves 1 to 8

For the crust:
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/2 cup ice water

For the filling:
6 apples, 3 Granny Smith and 3 Golden Delicious, peeled, cored, quartered, and cut into 1/8″ slices
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

To make the crust: (Do this 4 hours to one day before.)

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.

Cut in butter using a pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Cut in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Use a wooden spoon as the dough get more wet.

Divide the dough into two equal part and wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

To make the filling and pie:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Skin, core, and slice apples. In a large bowl, combine apples, sugar, flour, vinegar, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.

Roll out each disk of dough on a lightly floured surface into 12″ rounds. Fit 1 round of dough into a 9″ pie plate. Wet second round of dough aside.

Transfer filling to the pie plate and use a spoon to distribute evenly.

Brush edges of pastry with some of the egg and top with remaining pastry round.

Trim edges with a knife and crimp with your fingers. Brush top of pastry with remaining egg and sprinkle with a little sugar.

Using a knife, make 4 slits in pastry top and poke with tines of a fork.

Transfer pie to oven and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350˚ and continue baking until crust is golden brown and a knife inserted into one of the slits slides easily through apples, about 40 minutes more. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 2 hours before serving.

For more photos, go to Flickr.

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